Saturday, January 24, 2015

Day 9

Sometimes there are unexpected adventures in life. Day nine of our trip, our journey home, included one such journey. But first, we got up and kind of leisurely got ready to leave our motel in Kanab. We stayed at the Victorian Inn as I had mentioned in an earlier post, and when we left, our first stop was to go and collect some large slabs of sandstone for future use in yard decorating. I had collected two earlier in the week and Ann wanted two more, so we drove down into Arizona, past Freedonia, turning off highway 89A and onto highway 22, back to approximately where I had collected the previous slabs. We found a couple more and headed on our way. Our plan was to take a scenic route, up Johnson Canyon that we had driven up the previous day, and then take a 31 mile dirt road called Skutumpah Road. Skutumpah was rated a 1 on the easiness scale for dirt road travel, and that's as easy as it gets. Two-thirds of the way in, we were in for an unexpected surprise when suddenly the road was wet--mud, then snow and ice. It looked dangerous as the road rounded a hairpin turn and headed down a shelf, covered in snow. We didn't want to turn back at that point as that would add hours to our travel time. This part of the drive takes people into breathtaking vistas on mountainsides. On the downhill side of the road in many cases there was a foot-wide berm, also made of mud, that if we happened to slide into wasn't going to stop us from going off the edge. But in many cases, going to close to the uphill side would create a situation where we might slide into a ditch and get high centered. It was a bit nerve-wracking, especially once we were on the ice. Fun though. It's the kind of road that shows you what your vehicle and tires are made of, and if you have the skills necessary to complete the drive. What a rush!
The snow on the road got to be at least six inches deep in places. This photo shows a bit of the snow and mud.

This steep section included an ice flow. I nearly fell on my head trying to get to the back of the Yota to take the shot.

Once we negotiated the last ten miles, we were treated to vistas like this one:
Looking north from Stutumpah Road

The book had rated the scenic beauty as a 9 out of 10, but until we dared to drive that last third of the road, we didn't see anything like this. Since I'm writing this, we obviously made it. There were no further surprises on the trip, and we pulled into the driveway at around 6:45pm. All told, it was a pretty good trip.

2 comments: said...

>>All told, it was a pretty good trip.<<

I'l glad you had a great time and that you made it past that last obstacle.

I read every word. Thanks for taking me along!

Shane Roe said...

Thanks, Richard. Thanks for reading and commenting.